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During the wintertime, cold temperatures make simple tasks such as going to the bathroom miserable.
Many homes do not have central heating in the bathroom. This can make trips to the bathroom uncomfortable when the temperature dips down.
Even worse is getting up from a warm bed in the middle of the night to go sit on a frigid toilet!
If spending time in a cold bathroom isn’t your idea of comfort, then a bathroom space heater can make all the difference.
In this article, we’ll discuss the reasons why you should use a bathroom space heater, and review a few of the best bathroom space heaters.
List of the best bathroom space heaters
Best All-Around Bathroom Space Heater
Most Full-Featured Bathroom Space Heater
How to choose a space heater for your bathroom
Choosing a bathroom heater can be difficult because there are many things to consider:
- ALCI Plug. You need to ensure that you choose a space heater that has an ALCI plug. The ALCI is a protective device that helps prevent harm from using a broken or malfunctioning space heater.
- Space Heater Size. The space heater should be small enough to fit somewhere in your bathroom. It also needs to be placed in a safe place, clear of nearby objects.
- IP Rating. The space heater should have an IP rating, which is a water resistance rating.
- Extra Features. Some small space heaters have features that make them a pleasure to use – thermostats, timers, and even oscillators.
The heating capacity of your bathroom space heater is mostly a non-factor. This is because most small space heaters are all rated for 1500W – the maximum that most areas in the United States allow for.
Where to put a bathroom space heater
Where you put the space heater is an important factor in how well your bathroom will be heated.
You don’t want to place the heater in a corner or near any obstructions. Always make sure that air is flowing through the space heater unrestricted.
Even though many bathrooms do not have much extra space, you want to ensure that there is adequate clearance around the heater.
You also need to ensure that there is a safe place to put a heater in your bathroom.
Make sure that the space heater is not near a place where water can get to it.
Keep the heater away from anything that could potentially catch fire – such as toilet paper, towels, or wastebaskets.
The best bathroom space heater reviews
Lasko CD08200 Ceramic Space Heater
The Lasko CD08200 Ceramic Space Heater is a purpose-built bathroom space heater.
It excels at heating up the bathroom quickly – so you’ll be able to jump in the shower and have a warm bathroom by the time you’re done.
This space heater has 3 different modes: High 1hr, High, and Low:
- High 1hr mode is a mode that turns the heater on high heat for 1 hour – perfect for getting ready in the morning.
- High mode turns on the heater to its highest setting- 1500W
- Low mode turns on the heater to its lowest setting- 900W
My favorite part about this heater is the large button on top of the heater that makes it easy to cycle through its different modes. In fact, that’s the only button on the heater, so it is very easy to use.
This heater also has some safety features as well– an ALCI safety plug to help prevent ground faults, and automatic overheat protection to help prevent fires.
The heater comes in a compact size, so it will take up minimal space in your bathroom. In fact, it is the smallest space heater in our reviews.
If you need a compact space heater for your bathroom, the Lasko Ceramic Space Heater is your best bet.
- Automatic overheat protection
- Large button for easy on/off control
- ETL listed
- No thermostat
The Lasko CD08200 Ceramic Space Heater is an easy to use, no-frills bathroom space heater for those who need a warm bathroom on a budget.
DeLonghi Portable Bathroom Heater
The DeLonghi Portable Bathroom Heater is the luxury vehicle of bathroom space heaters. For one, it has 3 different power settings and an adjustable thermostat for precise temperature control.
But the best part about this heater is that it has a built-in programmable timer, so you can set exactly when the heater will turn on and off during the day.
Imagine waking up in the morning, and the heater has already gotten the bathroom warm for you. After you’re done getting ready, it turns off just in time for you to leave for work.
This space heater has a plethora of safety features as well – ALCI plug, overheat protection, and an IP21 rating for protection against dripping water.
This heater also has a unique freeze protection mode. The freeze protection mode is designed to be used in a room where you need to keep the temperature above the freezing point.
Freeze protection mode is useful for areas such as basements and garages where you don’t need it to be too warm, just warm enough to not freeze.
- IP21 water resistance rating
- Programmable timer
- ETL listed
- Timer is somewhat confusing to use
The DeLonghi Portable Bathroom Heater has the most features of all the space heaters we reviewed. Using its 24-hour timer, you can literally set it once and forget it.
OPOLAR Ceramic Bathroom Heater
The OPOLAR Ceramic Bathroom Heater is a bathroom heater that comes with extra protection.
In addition to its included ACLI safety plug, this space heater also has tip-over protection. This means that if the unit is tipped over or put on its side, it will turn off. This is important if the heater will be placed in a high-traffic area or an area with children.
This space heater also has IP21 protection. The IP21 protection rating means that the heater has protection against moisture dripping from above.
You’ll have 3 different modes: Fan Only, High Heat, and Low Heat. Fan Only mode just runs the heater’s built-in fan without any heat. High Heat and Low Heat put out 1500W and 750W, respectively.
This space heater also has a built-in thermostat for precise bathroom temperature control. To use the thermostat, rotate the dial to select whether you want it cooler or warmer. The heater will turn on and off as needed to maintain space temperature.
- IP21 water resistance rating
- Thermostat for accurate temperature control
- Tip-over protection
- Large size might not fit in certain places
The OPOLAR Ceramic Bathroom Heater is an excellent choice for those looking for an IP21 rating on a budget.
Bathroom space heater comparison table
6.25 x 6.25 x 8
9 x 8 x 13
15.1 x 9.9 x 8.1
Why should you use a space heater in your bathroom?
A bathroom space heater will make your bathroom much more comfortable when it’s cold outside. Since the average person spends about 30 minutes in the bathroom each day, it’s important to spend that time in comfort!
Bathroom heaters are a great way to keep your bathroom comfortable while you get ready for work, get ready for sleep, or take care of business.
Better yet, using a bathroom heater can even help you save on your electricity bill.
Using a bathroom heater allows you to turn down the heat in the rest of your house to save energy.
You’ll notice lower energy costs if you turn down the heat in the rest of your house and only heat the select rooms that you spend time in.
Bathroom space heaters help out with humidity issues as well.
Everyone has seen their mirrors fog up when they take a hot shower. What you probably haven’t noticed is that fixtures such as sink faucets and toilet handles will condensate as well.
Foggy fixtures can corrode over time, leading to unnecessary bathroom repairs. Even worse is the accumulation of mold and mildew, which can cause health issues and huge repair jobs.
By using a bathroom space heater, the relative humidity in your bathroom will stay lower. You’ll have less moisture on your mirror, sink, and toilet when you take a shower.
The space heater will keep your air dry and cause fewer problems than a steamy, moist bathroom.
Space heaters versus other types of heaters
There are many different types of heaters that you can use in a bathroom.
Wall heaters, fan heaters, and ceiling heaters are a few of the other types of heaters that you might find in a bathroom.
So what makes a space heater so good for a bathroom?
The main reason is that the other types of bathroom heaters require installation.
Wall heaters, fan heaters, and ceiling heaters all require installation, to some extent. This means that you might need to be cutting open your drywall and pulling electrical wires to get the other types of heaters up and running.
A space heater requires no installation whatsoever. The only thing that you need to do is take it out of the box, plug it in, and turn it on.
Of course, the main drawback is that the space heater will take up a bit of space in your bathroom. But that is a small price to pay for the ease of use and how quickly you can get a space heater set up and heating your bathroom.
4 tips for using a bathroom heater safely
- Keep the heater away from obstructions. Ensure that there are no objects near the heater that could block airflow. Space heaters produce high temperatures so you don’t want them coming into contact with anything that can burn.
- Have a fire extinguisher nearby. A fire extinguisher is something that everyone should have in their house, even more so if you have a space heater. Be sure that your fire extinguisher has an ‘ABC’ rating – this means that it is effective against multiple types of fires, including paper/wood, grease, and electrical fires.
- Use a heater that is rated for bathroom use. Your bathroom space heater should have, at a minimum, an ALCI plug. Even better if it has an IP rating for water resistance. Also, it’s best to look for a space heater that has an ETL rating – this means that it has been tested and proven to work as advertised.
- Keep the heater away from water. Even though your bathroom space heater might have safety features that help protect it against water, it’s still best if it does not come into contact with water in the first place. Keep your bathroom heater away from any sources of dripping water or potential splashes from sinks, showers, and toilets.
ALCI plugs for bathroom space heaters
If you are going to be using a space heater in a wet area such as a bathroom, then the space heater should have, at a minimum, a plug with an Appliance Leakage Circuit Interrupter, or ALCI.
The ALCI is a device that is built-in to the space heater’s power cord that helps protect against damage to people or equipment.
The ALCI works by monitoring for ground faults. A ground fault occurs when an electrical circuit gets shorted to ground. When this happens, the electrical current flows directly to the ground.
When the current exceeds 6mA, the ALCI “trips” and de-energizes the circuit, preventing any more electricity from flowing.
So why is this important? During a space heater’s normal operation, there will be no current that flows to ground.
If the ALCI detects current that is flowing to ground, that is indicative of a short circuit, a malfunction in the equipment, or damaged equipment.
In all of these situations, the space heater would not be safe to use and can potentially cause harm to any person that comes into contact with it.
ALCI plugs and outlets are typically used in bathrooms because of the presence of water. Intrusion of water into a space heater can cause a ground fault.
Tap water is an excellent conductor of electricity, so a puddle of water can essentially become a large, energized wire. To prevent this, it is important that any space heater that is used in a wet area is ALCI-protected.
IP21 protection and why it matters for bathroom space heaters
The IP code is a classification for the level of protection that is provided by an enclosure.
In layman’s terms, it is a rating that tells you how much a space heater is protected against intrusion by dust, accidental contact, and liquids.
Many products are advertised as “waterproof” or “water-resistant”. However, these claims are vague and left up to interpretation.
The IP code system allows for an “apples-to-apples” comparison of the protection levels of different products. Part of a product’s IP code indicates the level of protection against liquids such as water.
Protection from water is important in wet or humid spaces such as bathrooms. When using the sink or shower accidental splashing can occur, and that might damage a normal space heater.
A space heater with an IP21 rating is assured a certain level of protection against solid and liquid intrusion.
The first digit in the IP rating indicates the level of protection against solid objects.
An enclosure with an IP21 rating has a solid protection level of 2, which means it will protect objects that are larger than 12.5mm from entering.
The second digit in the IP rating indicates the level of protection against liquids, such as water.
An enclosure with an IP21 rating has a liquid protection level of 1, which means it will provide protection against dripping water.
Quick note about ETL listing…
A product that has an ETL mark has been tested and proven to comply with safety standards in North America. This means that the product has been tested in a laboratory and its claims have been verified.
This isn’t to say that products that don’t have an ETL mark are phonies… Rather, it only means that the product has been independently tested by a Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratory (NRTL).